Dana to Petra Trek - 9 Days

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The epic trek from Dana to Petra, rated one of the world’s best hikes by National Geographic, takes you through many of Jordan's distinct landscapes and major archeological sites. It's part of the national Jordan Trail, which runs the length of the country from north to south. Read on for a detailed description of the 9-day trekking itinerary.

The nine-day trek to the ancient city of Petra is unique in that it runs through the 4 biospheres inside of the Wadi Dana Reserve. The diversity of the scenery on this hike is most surprising to visitors who expect to see nothing but desert in Jordan. 

This beautiful hike is best done in the spring or fall, although winter is a possibility. The summer months of June-August are especially hot and not recommended. The Dana Reserve is especially beautiful in spring—you won’t believe how much green there is in Jordan!

Highlights of the Dana to Petra Trek

  • Hike through all 4 biospheres in Wadi Dana
  • Enter the rose-red city of Petra from the back door
  • Visit Feynan Ecolodge, one of the world's best ecolodges
  • Interact with local communities
  • Experience the wilderness of Wadi Rum on a jeep tour

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Airport - Amman

Arrive at Amman Airport, where we will meet you, assist with immigration and then transfer you to your hotel. Amman is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited since the bronze age.  The city is growing into a modern city but retains its character and history. 

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Day 2: Amman - Amman city tour - Kerak Castle – Dana

After breakfast, you will head to the old downtown for a city tour in Amman. Explore the historical side of the city, starting with the Citadel, then visit the Roman Amphitheater and the Jordan Folklore Museum.  Then walk through the old markets, viewing Al-Husseini Mosque. You can also stop at a local restaurant to sample authentic falafel and hummus, and more must-try foods .

Next, head south to the ancient crusader castle in Karak, exploring the maze of stone-vaulted halls and passageways. The city of Kerak was the capital of Moab and was also used by the Greeks and Romans. The castle lies on the ancient caravan routes that used to connect Egypt to Syria, and its commanding position above the Dead Sea Valley made it a strategic asset of great importance. The castle provides an impressive insight into the architectural and military skills of the Crusaders. Drive to Dana to enjoy one of the most dramatic and diverse landscapes in the whole region.

Day 3: Dana - Hike from Dana Village to Feynan Ecolodge (8.5 miles)

Your first day hiking will start from Dana Guest House, 1,200m above sea level, and head west into Dana valley with your trekking guides. The trail drops steeply at first and then levels into a more gradual descent through the Dana Biosphere Reserve towards the eco-lodge at Feynan. The reserve, Jordan's largest, includes four distinct bio-geographical zones, which means that Dana supports an astonishing diversity of birds, plants, and animals.

On your way down the valley you may see Griffin Vultures overhead as well as hyrax and copper-blue lizards on the rocks; if you're lucky you might even catch a glimpse of an ibex or a desert fox, or see the footprint of a wolf in the dust.  Finish at the highly acclaimed Feynan Eco-Lodge which serves amazing vegetarian cuisine.

Day 4: Feynan - Hike from Wadi Feynan to Ras Al Feid (11 miles)

From Wadi Feynan through the historic landscape around Feynan, where copper has been mined for some 3000 years. Mining reached its peak under the Romans, when thousands of slaves died here working the mines and furnaces, and millions of tonnes of ore were smelted into a metal that was exported all over the empire. As you walk out of Feynan you will see the mountains of slag that are the waste product of this ancient industry, as well as ruined buildings from the Nabataean and Roman periods. Beyond Feynan you cross a flat and stony desert, with the red ranges Jebel Sharah to your east and broad expanse of the Wadi

Araba to your west. The terrain is essential flat, but you’ll need to cross several dry wadis or river beds as you make your way south. In the afternoon you’ll reach the camp set up by our crew at Ras Al- Feid.

Day 5: Ras Al Feid - Hike from Ras Al Feid to Ghbour Whedat (10 miles)

On this day, you will start hiking from Ras Al-Feid towards Ghbour Whedat. You will also experience some astonishing views into the remotest wildest corners of Jordan. Contouring the Sharah Mountains and follow a trail of mostly clear Bedouin shepherd trails. On the remotest sections of the trail you are on less taken and hence harder to identify hunters’ paths. The sheer peeks of black mountains overlooking our trail and steep precipitous drops of the canyons below make this day absolutely spectacular, and will gradually climb up the hills following Bedouin shepherds paths, to uncover more of the spectacular views over the desert below. 

Day 6: Ghbour Whedat - Hike from Ghbour Whedat to Little Petra (8.5 miles)

Between Gbour Whedat and little Petra you will pass many sites such as Ba'ajah ruins, Siq Ba'ajah ,the Nabataeans wine and olive presses, water tanks, wells and the Nabataean rock carved facades and then on to Little Petra, a smaller archeological site just north of Petra with similar Nabataean ruins (and far fewer tourists). Then continue following the timeline markers through history to the remains of a Neolithic village.

Day 7: Little Petra - Hike from Little Petra to Petra (8.5 miles)

After breakfast, it's time to start your hike. Enter Petra via ‘The Back Door’ avoiding most of the tourists. Good tracks go pleasantly down Wadi Ghurab amidst sandstone mountains guarding the approaches to Petra. This way follows a Nabataean route out of the valley and skirting round the final mountain on a natural rock terrace which has been ‘improved’ for the safety of walkers. Even so, it still narrows slightly before reaching a hidden plateau high above the impressive chasm of Wadi Siyyagh.

Just beyond, carved into the cliff face, ‘The Monastery’ suddenly comes into view, where there is a Bedouin café for refreshments if you would like. Nabataean steps then lead down into ancient Petra; your route then takes you through Wadi Muthlim (weather dependent) to Wadi Musa and your Petra hotel accommodation.  If the weather is poor, there is an alternative route to our hotel is via Wadi Al-Khayl. 

Day 8: Petra - 2nd Day in Petra - Wadi Rum Jeep Tour - Wadi Rum

After breakfast, we head back into the Nabatean Red Rose city of Petra for a second visit before heading to Wadi Rum. Today we enter Petra via the Sig, the canyon gateway leading to Al-Khazneh, The Treasury, the iconic entrance to the Nabatean City. The site of Petra is massive, and contains hundreds of elaborated rock-cut tombs, a treasury, Roman-style theatres, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets.

More time to visit other trails and sites inside Petra, such as the High Place of Sacrafice or the Royal Tombs and Jebel Khubtha and the overlook of the Treasury from above. Drive to Wadi Rum to enjoy the wilderness adventure of a 4X4 (roughly 2 hours) tour in the enchanting desert following the foot steps of the famous Lawrence of Arabia. Spend the night under the stars in the peaceful desert and enjoy the hospitality of the Bedouins.

Day 9: Wadi Rum - Queen Alia International Airport

Depart from Wadi Rum’s surreal environment and transfer north to Queen Alia International Airport for departure.

  • Stress-free meet-and-greet arrival .
  • Private door-door transfer between your destination .
  • Comfortable seats with generous leg room, air conditioning and luggage storage
  • Enjoy smooth, friendly and hassle-free transfer service
  • Meet and greet by a professional driver
  • Private transfers operate 24 hours, 7 days a week
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